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Top 9 Nuts & Their Health Benefits

20.01.2015

A 20 year long study on 119,000 people has shown that those who ate peanuts, Brazil nuts and pistachios were more likely to live for longer – even once all other lifestyle aspects have been taken into consideration. Researchers found that those who ate nuts every day were 20% less likely to die over the 20-year study period.

 

 

 

Nuts contain good fats, which have the ability to reduce risk of stroke and heart disease. However, this also means that they need to be consuming in moderation. The high level of fibre contained in nuts also means that you will feel significantly fuller than snacking on a larger amount of processed foods such as chocolate or crisps.

A recommended portion of nuts is approximately 30g, this is smaller than you might imagine. Weigh your first few portions of snacks to get your eye in initially.

We suggest snacking on mixed nuts in order to gain the full range of health benefits as each nut contains it’s own health boosting properties. Remember to stick to plain nuts and avoid the salted or roasted variety.

 

Here are 9 of the most health beneficial nuts:

1. Hazelnuts   

High in – Fibre, calcium, magnesium, iron, protein, zinc, folate, thiamine, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E.

Health benefits – Hazelnuts are high in mono-unsaturated fats, which helps boost the health of your heart and blood. Vitamin E aids skin health and the oleic acid found in hazelnuts can also help to reduce blood pressure.

 

2. Pecans   

High in – Sterols, fibre, zinc and Vitamins E and B3.

Health benefits – Sterols are fantastic at reducing cholesterol levels. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition stated that pecans can reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol levels by up to 33%. The Vitamin B3 found in pecans also helps us to get energy from our food.

 

3. Peanuts   

High in – Protein, folate, fibre, iron, potassium, zinc and Vitamins B2, E and B3.

Health benefits – Technically a legume, the peanut comes out on top when it comes to popularity. Studies have shown that peanuts contain the same levels of cancer-busting antioxidants as strawberries.  A rich source of protein and contain plenty of ‘good’ mono-unsaturated fat. However, peanuts are rarely eaten in their natural form, they are usually doused in salt which effectively eradicates all of it’s health boosting properties. So if peanuts are at the top of your list, be sure to eat them in their raw state to feel the health boost!

 

4. Macadamia   

High in – Thaimin (Vitamin B10), fibre, calcium, potassium, omega 3, niacin and iron.

Health benefits – Macadamia are the most fattening of all the nuts, this is because they are rich in mono-unsaturated fat. That means that they need to be consumed in moderation but that they have the potential to reduce cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease. The omega 3 fatty acids found in macadamia nuts are also excellent for heart health.

 

 

5. Almonds   

High in – Fibre, calcium, Vitamins B2 and E, protein, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and copper.

Health benefits – This B Vitamin aids skin health and zinc is great for a healthy immune system. The calcium within almonds also help to maintain strong bones and teeth.

 

6. Brazil Nuts   

High in – Selenium, magnesium, protein, fibre, calcium, potassium, zinc and Vitamin E.

Health benefits – Selenium is a mineral that aids you to fight disease and heal wounds, your recommended amount of this mineral is found within a single brazil nut and is also thought to help protect the body against prostate, breast and bone cancer.

 

7. Pistachios   

High in – Potassium, Vitamin B6, protein, fibre, calcium, iron and Vitamins B1 and E.

Health benefits – Pistachios are the least fattening nut and contain the highest amount of Vitamin B6 than any other nut, a Vitamin that studies have shown helps to balance female hormones. A single serving of pistachios also contains 1/5 of your daily recommended amount of fibre. Pistachios are also found to be rich in gamma-tocopherol, an antioxidant that has been shown to help protect the body against cancer and heart disease.

 

8. Walnuts   

High in – Antioxidants, fibre, calcium, iron, zinc, Vitamin B6, folate and omega 3.

Health benefits – Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to help protect the body against heart disease and stroke. The high levels of antioxidants within walnuts are also another combative component against cancer. Walnuts are also high in mono-unsaturated fats which help to reduce cholesterol levels.

 

9. Cashews   

High in – Iron, zinc, protein, magnesium, potassium, Vitamins B6 and E and omega 3.

Health benefits – With high levels of zinc and iron, cashews are excellent at boosting the immune system and aiding the health of blood. With high levels of magnesium, cashews are also brilliant at enabling the body to turn the food we eat into energy. 

 

One secret to retaining self-control..

Nuts make an excellent, portable and easy snack, but why not check out our other snack suggestions for long working days - click here.

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